As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Truck- and Plane-Size Pterosaurs Once Flew Over Dinosaurs

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | August 29, 2017 12:47pm ET

CALGARY, Alberta —  The fossilized remains of two pterosaurs — winged reptiles that flew sky high during the dinosaur age — suggest that the soaring truck- and plane-size beasts were closely related to the gigantic Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the largest pterosaur on record, new research finds.

Both pterosaurs date back to the Maastrichtian, a period that occurred between 72 million and 66 million years ago. It ended when a 6-mile-wide (10 kilometers) asteroid slammed into Earth, ending the reign of the nonavian dinosaurs and countless reptiles, including the pterosaurs.

The newly unearthed pterosaurs were found in Jordan in 2005 and 2008, and both belong to a family of pterosaurs called Azhdarchids, which includes the famous Q. northropi — a pterosaur the size of an airplane, with an almost-40-foot (12 meters) wingspan. [Photos of Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs]

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